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November 19, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Montclair Film Festival’s Nick Juzdan To Speak at TEDxYoutth@Kinnelon

Like most high school students, 17-year-old Kinnelon High School senior Julia Balick is busy with academics, sports and clubs. Given her schedule, she might be an unlikely candidate to host and organize a major conference during her senior year. Nonetheless, Balick is organizing and curating Kinnelon’s first TEDx conference. TEDxYouth@Kinnelon will be held in collaboration with Kinnelon Library on Saturday, November 19th from 11 – 2. It is a free community event open to everyone age fourteen and up. The conference will feature fascinating speakers, live entertainment and TED Talks videos – all combined in an informal setting to spark meaningful conversation and share ideas worth spreading. The theme of the conference is Game Changers.

TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. TED conferences are designed to “share ideas worth spreading.” Conferences are usually based on a broad, multidisciplinary theme. . The purpose is to think about things in a new way and to share our insights with others. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx – local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-style experience. The “x” = independently organized event. TED provides general guidance for TEDx events, but events like TEDxYouth@Kinnelon are self-organized.

The idea to organize a TEDx conference came to Balick arising out of her work in journalism. Balick writes a column for the Kinnelon High School newspaper and for her blog called “5 Minutes with…”, where she interviews fascinating people about their work. While researching TED-Ed (TED’s education arm), in preparation for an article about one of its leaders, Balick learned that individuals can apply for their own free TEDx licenses. Given Balick’s work against human trafficking, and her activism as a member of the Diller Teen Fellows Program, she was inspired by the idea that she could host a TEDx conference in her hometown. She wrote a detailed proposal to host a TEDx conference in Kinnelon. After communicating with TEDx and providing a few revisions to her proposal, TEDx granted Julia a license to host TEDxYouth@Kinnelon. Since she is seventeen, TEDx asked Julia to gear her conference to a high school and college age audience, but adults are encouraged to attend as well. TEDxYouth@Kinnelon was born.

Julia has been deeply involved in the issue of human trafficking since her work in Japan at Lighthouse to combat that issue and her role collaborating on a silhouette for The Silhouette Project run by the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking. TEDxYouth@Kinnelon’s speaker line up includes Mandy Leverett from the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking. In addition to speakers in the area of social action, Julia invited to the speaker roster Kinnelon’s David Benjamin to share “What I Learned from 2,500 Skydives”, Michael Ransom (scientist and author of The Ripper Gene) to address the topic “Using Both Sides of Your Brain – Science and Writing”, and Jason DeAlessi to share “Does Your Vote Count? The Electoral College and the American Presidency.” Speakers from surrounding towns include filmmaker Nick Juzdan, Dr. Jeffrey Dobro and poet Annick Kruse.
Balick continues to grow the speaker and entertainment roster.

In addition to recruiting an exciting speaker and entertainment lineup, Balick will show a few TED Talks videos from TED’s library and share live local entertainment. She hopes local teenagers and those from surrounding towns will attend the conference. For more information about TEDxYouth@Kinnelon, check out the Facebook event and group TEDxYouth@Kinnelon or contact Julia Balick on Facebook or at juliabalick@gmail.com.


November 19, 2016
11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Kinnelon Public Library
132 Kinnelon Road
Kinnelon, NJ 07405 United States


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